Global sales of smart speakers in Q1 2020 reached 28.2 million units, an increase of 8.2 per cent on Q1 2019, according to research from Strategy Analytics.
Amazon remained the leading brand with a share of 23.5 per cent, up from 21.5 per cent in the same period a year ago. Google retained second place with a 19.3 per cent share, compared to 17.9 per cent in Q1 2019. The global shares of Chinese vendors Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi all decreased as they faced supply and demand challenges in the Chinese domestic market as a result of pandemic-related measures.
In Q2 2020, however, Chinese supply chains have been returning to normal and the Q2 shares of Chinese vendors will rise again. At the same time Amazon and Google will come under pressure because of the impact of lockdowns in North American and European markets.
David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics, commented: “Much uncertainty lies ahead of course but the current stay-at-home conditions present an opportunity for smart speaker vendors and voice assistant operators to reinforce the value proposition of voice-first experiences. The growth in demand for smart displays in recent weeks shows that smart speaker devices are playing their part in alleviating the impact of lockdown conditions by improving access to video chat services for family and friends, amongst other things.”
David Mercer, VP, Media and Interactive Home, added : “Disruption to economies and the retailing environment will continue to affect demand dynamics for much of 2020, so vendors must continue to plan for volatility. Tailoring and adapting brand communications towards rapidly changing consumer needs and attitudes is critical for vendors wishing to minimize the impact of the pandemic as far as possible.”